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The sale of the subsidiary Arc International Cookware, presented as a necessary evil, will generate a cash flow of welcome for Arc International, beset by financial troubles. However, a separate brand with a strong reputation as Pyrex is a risky move. In the long term, this transfer will affect the Arc International market position of kitchen items.
Rumors circulated in the market since this summer on the sale of Pyrex license. Arc International, pressed by his creditors, has decided to sell its subsidiary to pay off part of its debt estimated at 500 million euros. The transaction was finalized in late January 2014. The Arc International Cookware subsidiary was acquired by a California investment fund, Aurora Resurgence, specializing in investments “middle market”, that is to say turnover from 50 million to $ 1 billion. This investment will be the first fund to be directed to the consumer market in a portfolio composed exclusively of B2B investments.
Pyrex has a strong market presence kitchen items. 80% of sales of Pyrex worldwide are produced by Arc International Cookware subsidiary, amounting to over 300 million euros in 2013, according to the interim report from Euromonitor International. In France, its traditional market, Arc International group is the second largest market in value after the SEB group through Pyrex.
In this context, the sale of Pyrex, being seen as a necessary evil, deprives the group of insured annual income. At first, refocus its activities on its heart of art, namely glassware arts of the table, and enjoy a quick influx of cash is an attractive idea. However, this decision increases the dependence of the group to the category of products already in difficulty tableware without allowing dilution risk. In Western Europe, historic market Arc International, the market for tableware recorded value growth of just 1% in 2013, while the market kitchen items progressed by 2.6%.
The president of the entity now named International Cookware, now claimed to have a free hand to expand the range of kitchen products and cookware pursuing an internationalization strategy: strengthening its position in high-growth markets seems to be a natural way forward for the company.
At the same time, Groupe SEB, its main competitor, recorded a positive performance from its most recent results of 2013. While political instability and volatility of exchange rates in emerging markets impact the results of the market ‘Western Europe, although weak growth, still has a certain appeal for its stability, as long as players use the right levers for growth in mature markets such as e-commerce and product innovation.
There is no doubt that other market players will keep a close eye on the direction taken and Arc International Cookware International in the coming months